In January 1831 Seymour Brunson, a veteran of the War of 1812, was baptized at Strongsville, Ohio, by Solomon Hancock. Within days of his baptism, he was ordained an elder by John Whitmer. Seymour received his first missionary assignment on January 25, 1832 (see D&C 75:33). He wrote a brief account of his missionary labors for The Evening and the Morning Star:
Dear brethren in Christ, I, for the first time, take up my pen to give you a general account of my travels. On the eleventh of March, 1832, I started with brother Luke Johnson unto the south country, and on the twenty second, we left our brethren at Shalersville, and began to preach and baptize, and arrived at Windsor, Lawrence county, Ohio, on the ninth of May, having witnessed several instances of the Lord’s healing power. At this place we built up a church, which made in all that we had baptized, fifty three members.1
Seymour wrote to the editors of the Messenger and Advocate about religious persecution in Lawrence County, Ohio: “Seymour Brunson writes … that during the past summer, the church in Lawrence Co. in the south part of this State, have received some persecution, such as attempts to injure persons, and destroy some property.”2 The persecution that Seymour witnessed was a precursor to the hostile feelings that festered for years in Ohio and Missouri before erupting. Seymour was a target of that persecution. He escaped from a menacing mob that held him captive by putting his shoes on backwards to mislead to his pursuers.
Account against the state of Missouri for actual survace rendered by my Self and Company being Called uppon by judge King the Circuit judge
… and allso for the arms and aquipments of my Company whoo ware Called uppon to … defend the State in unison with others from Savage barbarity Called out by the order of Lilburn W. Boggs. …
… total amount
I certify the above account to just and true according to the best of my Knowledge.3
Seymour lived a year after writing his redress petition. He did not receive recompense for his losses. During that year, he resided in Nauvoo, Illinois. He died on August 10, 1840, at the home of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo at age forty. Heber C. Kimball wrote of his death: “Semer Bronson is gon[e]. David Paten came after him. the R[o]om was full of Angels that came after him to waft him home.”4
The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke at his funeral on August 15, 1840, and said, “[Seymour] has always been a lively stone in the building of God and was much respected by his friends and acquaintances. He died in the triumph of faith, and in his dying moments bore testimony to the Gospel that he had embraced.”5 Joseph then introduced the doctrine of baptism for the dead.
On January 19, 1841, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph, “Seymour Brunson I have taken unto myself; no man taketh his priesthood, but another may be appointed unto the same priesthood in his stead” (D&C 124:132).
1. The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1833, 100.
2. Messenger and Advocate, December 1834, 46.
3. Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions Documents of the 1833–1838 (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 146–147.
4. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), p. 49 n.1.
5. Smith, History of the Church, 4:179.